Making Defense R&D Open and Innovative

Lee, Ju Ho / Ha, Tae-Jung

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Disruptive and open innovations in defense have been rapidly diffused among advanced countries as competition between them to secure cutting edge defense technologies has been intensified. However, based on fast-follower model, R&D system in defense in South Korea has long been prioritizing procurement over innovation. This paper proposes the transformation of defense R&D system from fast-follower model to first-mover model. We suggest four major directions of making defense R&D system open and innovative. First, R&D expenditure in defense should be radically increased. Second, GRIs, private research centers, and universities should be invited to co-design high-risk high-payoff defense R&D projects with speedy, innovative and bottom-up approaches. Third, Civil-military partnership in defense R&D should be strengthened by introducing open innovation and information sharing system. Finally, Diverse research institutes should be encouraged to participate in defense R&D; GRIs should be allowed to participate in specific areas of defense R&D, private companies in defense industry should be encouraged to have bigger R&D capacity, private companies with cutting edge technologies should be encouraged to join in defense R&D.

Issue Date
KDI School of Public Policy and Management
Series Title
KDI School Working Paper 20-07
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